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History and Meaning of The Neapolitan Cornicello
When traveling to Naples, you will find red horn-shaped talisman charms called “cornicelli” hanging everywhere in the streets. They make for a great souvenir to remember your trip by, however it would be a shame to overlook the rich historic origins of this iconic charm. Since ancient times, people have believed in the power of using magic against evil. Amulets, talismans and other objects imbued with magical power have been used to ward off bad luck and to bring good fortune. In the city of Naples, you can find a special talisman called “corno” which in Italian means horn. A cornicello is a twisted horn-shaped amulet or charm which can be made of anything, including gold, silver, bone, or carved from red coral.
The color and shape of the red cornicelli look similar to chili pepper. Garlands of red chili peppers can be found hanging all over the streets of Naples, as a symbol of good luck. During the Middle Ages, the color red had a double meaning: it symbolized victory over enemies, including the Devil, and it symbolized good luck. In Naples, it is recognized as a symbol of good luck and protection. Artisans of old Naples began to craft a little horn with an odd shape “tuosto, stuorto e cu a’ punta” which means, tough and twisted at the tip. Those who acquired such an amulet would be blessed with good luck.
HISTORICAL MEANING OF THE CORNICELLO
The use of the “corno” began around the Mediterranean during the Neolithic period, around 3500 B.C. This symbol was used by those ancient people as the bringer of good fortune as well as fertility. As a matter of fact, during that time, fertility was considered a blessing to the community. Likewise, the bull’s horns were also a symbol of male strength and virility. During ancient times, the horn was used as a votive offering to the Goddesses Venus and Luna. The red coral often used to make the charm is sacred to Venus, goddess of love, and silver is sacred to Luna, the goddess of the moon. The red color and phallic shape are also related to the male fertility god Priapus.
It’s believed that the evil eye can bring harm to nursing mothers and their babies, as well as damage fruit trees, milk animals, and male sperm. In other words, this evil brings harm to the forces of generation. In addition to being worn as a talisman or charm, the cornicelli are often hung from the rearview mirrors of trucks and cars. This is a modern take on the old custom of protecting draft horses with the cornicelli. Likewise, the symbol can also be found hung in doorways to protect homes and businesses.
FINDING CORNICELLI IN NAPLES
Wherever you go in the city of Naples, you will see thousands of “cornicelli” of every shape and size. While the meaning of this ubiquitous talisman is often overlooked, they are emblematic of ancient Neapolitan superstition. The cornicelli reaches back over many centuries, demonstrating the persistent value of good health and family which is so fundamental in Italian culture.
One place you can certainly find these good luck charms is on San Gregorio Armeno Street one of the most lively streets in Naples, lined with small shops selling “cornicello” charms of many variations. If you find yourself on this street, be sure to buy one of these unique charms as a gift for someone back home. A cornicello charm only brings good luck it is given to you, so don’t buy one for yourself, instead get one for a friend or family member at home!
Crazy Facts You Never Knew About Custer’s Last Stand Ranging from George Custer's Buckskins to Tom Custer’s battlefield book.
Edgar S. Paxson spent his 20 years of research wisely, as his Custer is lance-free in his 1899 oil Custer’s Last Stand.
— Paxson oil Courtesy Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Buffalo Bill Center of the West —
Tragically dying on June 25, 1876, with his men at his last battle, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer has lived on as an integral part of America’s cultural heritage. Out of the mire of speculation about the 7th Cavalry leader’s motives and his alleged disobedience of orders, battle researchers have uncovered this collection of crazy facts about the tragedy that history so often records as Custer’s Last Stand.
Tom Custer (above) never found out how the Hawkins family fared in the 1873 novel he was reading before the Battle of the Little Big Horn took his life, at the age of 31. Joining him in death were brothers 36-year-old George and 27-year-old Boston.
— Courtesy National Park Service —
What did Custer wear?
“The Indians at the Little Bighorn [sic] may have done Custer a perverse favor with their victory over him and his men,” Michael Elliott observed in Custerology. “His spectacular death preserved him for the ages as a symbol whose meaning and significance could be endlessly disputed. Custer’s trials would continue long after his death, in the halls of history, where Custer always belonged.”
But artists have done history a disservice by portraying Custer wearing a buckskin jacket, in nearly 100-degree weather, holding a saber and being felled by a lance. Two bullets actually ended his life.
If Trumpeter John Martin is correct, Custer did not wear his buckskin jacket when he rode to battle at the Little Big Horn. That day, he carried a Remington sporting rifle, a hunting knife and two British revolvers. With the possible exceptions of Lts. Charles C. DeRudio and Edward G. Mathey, the 7th Cavalry was not armed with sabers that day. Death by lancing is not a likely scenario.
What book was Tom Custer reading when killed?
Canadian colleague George Kush reports Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner’s 1873 novel The Gilded Age “was the book Capt. Tom Custer was reading when he was killed at the Little Big Horn. He was almost finished and promised to loan it to another officer, also killed on June 25, 1876.”
Did Army-supplied rifles kill Custer and his men?
A True West reader told Marshall Trimble that President Ulysses S. Grant had ordered lever action rifles for Lakotas that they used against Custer at the Little Big Horn battle. He never heard this before neither have I.
Prior to the battle, Gen. George Crook and other officers had accused Lakota agents and traders of supplying ammunition—not firearms—to “hostile” tribesmen, backed up by reports like one given by Standing Rock Agency Capt. J.S. Poland.
The Indian Office ordered such ammunition transactions to cease, a move casting doubt that Grant ever provided lever action rifles to Lakotas. The reader’s question defies logic because the President authorized, if not initiated, the Sioux War of 1876-77, and these repeaters and any other firearms would have been used against the U.S. Army.
Archaeological evidence does show Little Big Horn warriors carried repeating firearms. Lakota Chief Sitting Bull and his band avoided the agencies, but obtained arms and ammunition from Métis traders, Sitting Bull biographer Robert M. Utley states. Discovering who supplied repeaters to Lakotas and Cheyennes requires further research.
Beer distributor Anheuser-Busch added to Custer’s celebrity by sending an 1895 colored lithograph to saloons across the nation, but artist Cassilly Adams got one of the Boy General’s weapons wrong—along with a revolver, Custer is shown fighting off Indians with a saber.
— Adams poster true West Archives —
Were battle accounts rewritten?
Frontiersman George Herendeen provided articulate, comprehensive accounts of the Little Big Horn battle, including a New York Herald letter published in 1878. Yet his letters at the Montana Historical Society indicate he was barely literate. What gives?
“His” Herald accounts appear to bear the fingerprints of Maj. James Brisbin, a voluminous author who wrote at least one 1876 campaign dispatch for the Herald, while commanding the 2nd Cavalry of Col. John Gibbon’s Montana Column. Brisbin probably transcribed—and embellished—Herendeen’s interview statements.
Author James W. Schultz left his mark on scout William Jackson, whose 1890s statement at the Military History Institute features edits that “include lining through words and replacing with better descriptions, adding in phrases and, in at least one case, deleting whole sentences and rewording the text,” Col. Samuel Russell says.
Two different versions of Jackson’s account, both written in the first person by Schultz, were published: one in the Los Angeles Times in 1914 and the other in the 1926 biography William Jackson: Indian Scout.
The earlier account takes “serious issue with interpreter [Fred] Gerard, intimating that he was a coward throughout the event. I suspect that this favors Schultz’s view of Jackson rather than Gerard’s,” Russell says.
Reserve the most caution for soldier accounts “told” long after the event. Researcher William J. Ghent claimed Pvt. William Slaper did not write “his” account published in E.A. Brininstool’s 1925 tome A Trooper with Custer. “It was written by Mr. Brininstool, as Mr. Slaper himself told me…. [It is] about 75 percent Brininstool and only about 25 percent Slaper.”
Did the daughter of a Little Big Horn survivor lie?
Among the 7th Cavalry-related books quoted as a reliable source is the memoir With Custer’s Cavalry by Katherine Gibson Fougera, daughter of Lt. Francis M. Gibson. Yet British colleague Peter Russell’s research confirms suspicions concerning the story’s faithfulness.
For example, a comparison of Gibson’s July 4, 1876, letter published in the memoir with a transcription of the original document in the Gibson-Fougera Collection at Little Bighorn Battlefield reveals word additions, changes and omissions, and a few factual errors. Such edits might be excused if not for the flagrant insertion of several sentences that do not appear in the transcription, claiming that Gibson heard Lt. George D. Wallace’s well-known premonition, on June 22, 1876, of Custer’s death. The daughter’s spurious addition represents an insidious attempt to misrepresent Gibson’s mindset, if not to distort his performance, at the 1876 battle.
Perhaps the daughter learned this premonition from a similar account, published in Capt. Edward S. Godfrey’s 1892 Century article and noted in his diary, which, however, did not confirm Gibson’s presence during the episode.
Fougera’s memoir is an easy read, but should be regarded as historical fiction.
The saber wielded by George Custer and his men does not match the historical record of the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn, making this 1880s Burlington Railroad engraving by H.R. Locke just one example of artistic liberty that has confused our understanding of what Custer and his men wore and what weapons they carried.
— Courtesy Heritage Auctions, November 11, 2007 —
Did the search for gold bolster Custer’s confidence?
When Custer entered the Black Hills for his 1874 expedition, he might have been aware of a prior gold expedition—a party of 150 prospectors from Bozeman, Montana—that had successfully engaged Lakotas and Cheyennes in the valleys of the Rosebud and Little Big Horn on several occasions. The saga arguably reinforced Custer’s confidence that the 7th Cavalry could whip the Indians too.
Custer’s crew was officially searching for a suitable site for a fort (the future Fort Meade) for the Army to monitor and control Lakota movements. Yet the expedition may have spurred an unintended consequence.
Because of 1991’s Son of the Morning Star, some folks may believe George Custer and Frederick W. Benteen argued over dividing the ranks during the Battle of the Little Big Horn, a scenario portrayed by Jim Carson in his oil Custer Divides the 7th Cavalry. One quibble: Custer’s troops did not take any tents, as George wrote to wife Libbie on June 21, 1876.
— Courtesy The Russell, March 17, 2018 —
Although the Bozeman crew never found gold and looking for gold was not part of Custer’s stated mission, news of such a discovery in the Black Hills prompted a rush there that not only successfully resulted in gold, but also antagonized the Sioux, producing the Sioux War of 1876-77. Labeling the Sioux as “hostiles” solved President Ulysses S. Grant’s dilemma of how to allow whites to exploit territory promised in Indian treaties.
Who discovered the dead on Custer’s Battlefield?
More than one enlisted man claimed, without confirmation, to carry a dispatch from Maj. Marcus A. Reno to Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry on June 27, 1876, marking each one as possibly the first, if not the first, member of the military to discover the dead on Custer’s battlefield.
A private, Henry Brinkerhoff, claimed he found a “bunch of seven soldiers, killed, stripped and scalped, and several gray horses—dead—showing they belonged to E Troop.”
William Baker claimed Reno had dispatched him and Arikara scout Young Hawk to procure medicine from the steamboat Far West. They found two bodies after crossing Medicine Tail Coulee, he told battle researcher Walter Camp, before “Bradley and two or three scouts came along.”
James H. Bradley, the lieutenant chief of scouts of the Montana Column, is traditionally the soldier credited with first finding the Custer dead, an event documented in his journal.
Gordon “Pawnee Bill” Lillie, who launched his Wild West show in 1888, gave Americans a dramatic portrayal of the Battle of the Little Big Horn with this scene of dead Indians surrounding a more victorious Indian as he stabs George Custer. The 7th Cavalry leader was actually killed by two bullets.
— Courtesy Library of Congress —
Yet Young Hawk did not mention Baker or the boat mission to Camp. He later told O.G. Libby that Reno had ordered him and Arikara scout Forked Horn (not Baker) to meet the Montana Column on June 27.
A 2nd Cavalry first sergeant, Frederick E. Server, told Camp that, on June 27, he and a Crow scout “were the first to discover the dead on the Custer battlefield. As soon as they found the dead, he [Server] wrote a note and sent it to Gen. Terry.”
Custer’s chief of scouts, Lt. Charles A. Varnum, recalled a failed attempt to “carry the news & try to get relief” after the fighting had ceased on Reno Hill on June 26. “They [the scouts] brought back the dispatches and said there were too many Indians.”
Varnum’s account suggests Reno sent multiple messages. Young Hawk confirmed messages had been “written for each of the scouts,” which he, three other Arikaras and a sergeant failed to deliver after “Dakotas fired on them.”
One thing is clear: Reno wrote a message on June 27 informing Terry of a “most terrific engagement with the hostile Indians” and requesting “medical aid at once.” This dispatch is securely stored in the National Archives.
For a cavalry leader viewed as either impulsive or awe-inspiring after his Civil War glories, George Custer fittingly strikes a Napoleonic pose, with one hand tucked into his jacket. This circa 1863 ambrotype by William Frank Browne shows Custer clothed in his gaudy uniform of brigadier general, a rank he was promoted to that June.
— Courtesy Heritage Auctions, December 11-12, 2012 —
Did Custer and Benteen argue over dividing the ranks?
Custer and Capt. Frederick W. Benteen discussed the wisdom of dividing the regiment before the 7th Cavalry marched to destiny at Little Big Horn. That is, if you believed the encounter re-created in 1991’s Son of the Morning Star.
The ABC miniseries’ dialogue quoted, almost verbatim, what battle survivor Charles Windolph told Frazier and Robert Hunt in the 1940s:
“I heard Benteen say to Custer: ‘Hadn’t we better keep the regiment together, General? If this is as big a camp as they [the scouts] say, we’re going to need every man we have.’ Custer’s only answer was: ‘You have your orders.’”
Yet the closest Benteen came to any such caution was an 1890s remark to Theodore Golden: “That is all I blame Custer for—the scattering, as it were, (two portions of
his command, anyway) before he knew anything about the exact or approximate position of the Indian village or the Indians.”
If Benteen had advised Custer to “keep the regiment together,” he would have so testified at the 1879 Reno Court of Inquiry or reported the encounter to Custer’s superior,
Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry, or mentioned it when responding to criticism of his own actions at the Little Big Horn battle.
Earlier, in 1909, Windolph did not mention this Custer-Benteen encounter to Walter Camp. A Medal of Honor recipient for his actions as a private at Little Big Horn, Windolph may be excused for his fuzzy memory some 60 years after the battle.
Windolph told the Hunts he had approached Benteen for permission to exchange horses with First Sgt. Joseph McCurry, when he overheard the alleged conversation with Custer. The social structure of the post-Civil War frontier Army casts doubt on Windolph’s story. The stratified military system separated enlisted men from their social and intellectual “superiors,” Kevin Adams documented in Class and Race in the Frontier Army. Company commanders delegated day-to-day management to their first sergeant (for example, McCurry) and other non-commissioned officers.
Sometimes Westerns are not entirely at fault for failing to portray an incident accurately. Son of the Morning Star fell into the trap of relying on an unreliable battle participant.
Was Custer impulsive or a great cavalry officer?
The peace-time Army’s mundane routines following the Civil War’s glories probably explained much of Custer’s post-war legacy, his later accomplishments and frustrations, if not the outcome of the Little Big Horn battle.
“War,” T.J. Stiles observed in Custer’s Trials, “gave Custer his greatest pleasure. It gave him purpose, praise, and the adoration of his men. Whatever would he do when peace returned?”
After Custer’s death, a letter in the Army and Navy Journal noted: “Gen. Custer may have been too impulsive, but after all the great forte of cavalry is reckless dash. Custer’s only fault, if fault it may be termed, consists in failure. If it [the Little Big Horn] had been a success, as doubtless he had every reason to anticipate, imperishable laurels would have crowned his brow.”
Custer earned a reputation for rash, insubordinate action in battle and elsewhere, yet he also could accurately assess tactical battlefield situations and react instantly, often with success.
On the other hand, he did demonstrate restraint against unfavorable odds or a trap, as he showed at the 1864 Battle of Trevilian Station, the 1868 Washita fight and his 1873 skirmish with Lakotas along Yellowstone River.
Whether or not Custer’s alleged disobedience of Gen. Terry’s instructions on June 22, 1876, played a central role in how the Little Big Horn battle played out remains a ceaseless controversy. But that is a story for another day.
C. Lee Noyes and wife Michele edited The Battlefield Dispatch for the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association for 15 years before retiring in 2016.
They continue to disseminate information on late 19th-century Plains Indian Wars. For further Little Big Horn battle research, Noyes recommends you read James Donovan’s A Terrible Glory, Nathaniel Philbrick’s The Last Stand and Robert M. Utley’s Custer and the Great Controversy.
Steven Kohlhagen’s Chief of Thieves, based on 32 historical characters and 12 fictional ones, is&hellip
The legend, the myth, the legacy of Crazy Horse didn’t end with his death. American&hellip
Inspired by interpreter William Garnett’s account that made the killing of Crazy Horse “seem so&hellip
Appearance and Ways to Wear
The Italian horn is a charm that is shaped like a twisted horn. Traditionally, Italian horns were made of silver and red coral, as these two materials were considered to be auspicious. We also have several instances wherein the amulets is made of bone.
These days however, we get Italian horns made of gold and white gold as well (alongside the traditional materials, of course), and these are also often embedded with diamonds.
Historians tell us that the inspiration for the original version of the cornicello may have been taken from the African eland (antelope found in the African savanna). This is because some of the earlier Italian horns resemble those of the eland.
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Over the years however, more stylized versions of these charms have become popular. In fact, some of them are so twisted at times, that they fail to look like a horn.
According to certain South Italian traditions, the shape of the horn was originally inspired by the chili pepper, a spice that is found in plenty in the region.
Italian horns can be purchased from several outlets in Italy and the United States, and also online. While these charms can be found in the form of earrings, key chains, etc., Italian horn necklaces are particularly popular.
Fame at last
The power of the golden rhinoceros was again recognised by the first post-apartheid administration in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC appropriated the golden rhinoceros for the new South Africa and held it up as evidence of a southern African Renaissance before the arrival of Europeans. In 1999 the gold rhinoceros was designated a National Treasure. In 2002 the ANC created the Order of Mapungubwe, the highest honour in South Africa, of which there are four classes: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Nelson Mandela was the first to receive the highest of these awards, platinum. At the centre of the award is a representation of the gold rhinoceros.
Gold sceptre from Mapungubwe. Department of UP Arts, University of Pretoria , Author provided
Today, as the gold rhinoceros is about to leave South Africa for the first time to be displayed in the British Museum’s South Africa: the art of a nation exhibition, its powers to communicate are charged and enhanced again. In the exhibition it will sit on a world stage where it will again speak to new audiences about the importance of Mapungubwe, the pre-colonial past, the crimes of colonialism and apartheid – and the ambitions of a contemporary South Africa.
South Africa: the art of a nation is at the British Museum from October 27 – February 26, 2017.
Protecting Yourself from the Italian Malocchio Evil Eye Curse
What can you do to prevent the malocchio (often pronounced “maloik”) ?
Many Italians wear a Malocchio charm or horn (cornetto, corno, or cornicello) which resembles a chili pepper. The horns are usually made of coral, gold, or silver and are either worn as a necklace or hung in one’s home to ward off evil spirits. This horn tradition evolved in Old Europe when the horned animal (the moon goddess) was considered sacred.
They are a culturally popular amulet and are primarily found in Italy and in North America among descendants of Italian immigrants. In some instances, the corno has become a symbol of Italian pride.
Besides wearing the corno, an old wive’s tale says that to diagnose someone with the evil eye, have them drop three drops of olive oil in a bowl filled with water. If the oil forms the shape of an eye, the victim has indeed received the malocchio. As the oil separates from the water, make the sign of the cross and say, “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Then make the sign of the cross on both of your hands. As you do this, place your hands on the other person and say: “Father this prayer is being said for (insert name of victim) and I pray it works in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
The old wive’s tale then states that you must repeat this prayer three times. After that is done, both people must say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one “Glory Be To the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be.”
Sometimes this part is done by holding hands.
It is known that this prayer is the most effective on Christmas Eve, but, of course, it will still work during any time of the year! What are some other well-known Italian superstitions? Share with us your tales!
2. Keep It Up-Side-Down – Look at the Unglazed Portion
Now that you have the markings down, let us now take a look at the unglazed portion and see how this can affect the authenticity of your prized Italian pottery. The unglazed portion of authentic Bitossi pottery is rough and concave. No ifs ands or buts about it. If it is not rough, it is certainly fake. If it is flat, it is certainly fake. No matter what marking you see, it has to be ROUGH and CONCAVE. I cannot stress this enough. ROUGH. CONCAVE. Done. Bringing us to our last sign just so you can be 100 percent sure when showing off your collection.
The Origins of the Model 1892 Bugle (M1892 Field Trumpet)
The word bugle in the United States is often used as a generic term for many types of horns including the instruments used by the armed services, drum and bugle corps and by various other organizations such as the Boy Scouts. Nevertheless, bugles have always been specified correctly by the armed services and the suppliers and manufacturers of these instruments as either bugles (a conical bore natural horn) or as a field trumpet (a cylindrical bore natural horn over 2/3rds of its length). A case in point is the standard so-called U.S. Regulation “G” bugle commonly used by the Boy Scouts and by drum and bugle corps before the introduction of valves or other key changing devices.
This basic horn came into being as the standard U.S. Army Cavalry trumpet in G, specification No. 325 dated May 2, 1892 (Quartermaster General’s Office, War Department) which supplanted the previous model 1879 F trumpet with C crook. These were characterized by detailed specifications with drawings and dimensions. The bugle described in the specifications was to be the basis for almost every bugle manufactured in the U.S. up to the present.
These are the specifications outlining the design of the M1892. Note that the specifications call for a crook to lower the pitch of the instrument to F.
Drawing of the M1892 based on the specifications as outlined in the QM order dated May 2, 1892
Natural trumpets with tuning slides came into use in Europe over 200 years ago and a small European trumpet with tuning slide known as an Inventions-horn (trumpet) dates from around 1840. This Inventions-horn resembles the U.S. mounted Infantry trumpet insignia from the pre-Civil War (below) U.S. Army and also the similar army trumpets such as those made by Klemm & Bro. in use before and during the Civil War.
Until 1879, the War Department specified signal horns per patterns on file or with only very bare descriptions. Various types of G trumpets with and without tuning slides saw use during the American Civil War along with one type of G bugle. All of these G trumpets and the similar F trumpets were two-coil horns usually in brass with a bell garland. (A garland is an extra plate of brass that is fitted on the bell of a bugle for reinforcement.)
The instrument in greatest use during the Civil War was the large belled bugle (clairon) imported from Europe. These bugles or clairons were in the key of C or B flat (with the aid of a crook) and were imported in large quantities during the 1860s. The “regulation” Civil War bugle was a single twist (copper, with a brass garland and a brass reinforcing band 8 inches up), which we see made or imported under contract, and stamped, by Stratton & Foote, Horstmann, Klemm Bros., Draper Bros., Church, and others.
The May 1865 Quartermaster manual calls for “Trumpets – To be made of brass when plain, viz without crooks, to stand in F with tuning slide and three crooks to stand in G they are to be 14-1/4″ high…..with crooks, 5 or 5-1/4″ wide in the middle and to weigh including crooks and without mouthpiece about 1 pound 2 ounces….the bowl(bell) about 5- or 5-1/4″ in diameter…Bugles to be made of copper and to stand in C…”
It is not known who designed the model 1892 trumpet but it seems likely that it may have been one of the manufacturers such as C.G. Conn or the Wurlitzer Company, both firms being among the first to build these horns. It is also possible that the Kretchmar Co. of Philadelphia may have influenced the model 1892 design for they were making an excellent inventions-horn type field trumpet during the 1880’s and had supplied the Army with 1879 F trumpets. The Kretchmar model 1879 F trumpet was a well-made horn that played well but had no tuning adjustment. It may be likely that the Wurlitzer Company (or their suppliers) originated this model 1892 design for it has a basic layout not unlike the F trumpets they were supplying to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps (1881-1890?s) except that the model 1892 was much slimmer and more modern in appearance and of a much brighter trumpet sound. The Marine Corps adopted the bugle in 1881 over the strenuous objections of their fifers. I now believe that is also when the Navy adopted the bugle but the Navy may have used them
Drawing of a clairon from the 1856 Husson & Buthod catalog Unknown maker Standard Instrument Company of Boston Klemm and Brothers
Trumpets made in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Navy/Marine Corps F trumpets mentioned above play with a lovely mellow tone less bright than the sound of the G trumpet or model 1879 F trumpet.
two young Marine musicians on a battleship holding what appear to be F trumpets (M1879)
Among other possible sources for design of the model 1892 are the J. Howard Foote Company, J.W. Pepper, and J.W. York (manufacturers) and Horstmann and Lyon & Healy (contractors). The model 1892 trumpet has been modified by various changes over the years to streamline its appearance and make it easier to manufacture.
Over the 110-year history of this design there have been at least seventy manufacturers world-wide making these 1892 horns with playing qualities ranging from superb to gosh-awful, but three are especially worthy of mention in this short essay.
1. The Vincent Bach Company, for the superb quality of their G and B flat field trumpets which play wonderfully. The bugle used by the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) is in the key of B flat and was designed after the M1892. The Army Band decided on this key to match the sound of B flat trumpets, which are used at ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery when a bugle is not available. Also the thought may have been that the higher pitched sound would carry farther. Incidentally, the instrument is called a “Signal Trumpet in B flat,” not a “Field Trumpet” as described in the 1892 specifications.
Vincent Bach Signal Trumpet
2. The C.G. Conn Ltd. Company, for overall quality, durability and various design improvements. This company, in existence since 1879, has been a pre-eminent manufacturer of brass instruments.
3. The Buglecraft Company, who manufactured many thousands of inexpensive horns for the mass civilian market with brand names of Rex, Rexcraft, and most often just labeled “U.S. Regulation.”
Other M1892 pattern bugle manufacturers include Buescher, York, Holton, Ludwig, Millard, and Weymann.
The Boy Scouts of America adopted this basic 1892 design, the many drum and bugle corps founded after World War I standardized on this horn, and due to contest requirements, the horns came to be specified as “U.S. Regulation.” The BSA bugles made by Conn use a cornet mouthpiece instead of a trumpet mouthpiece. The Boy Scouts adopted the M1892 bugle as early as 1916 and the bugle would remain an important part of scouting until interest began to diminish in the 1970s and 80s. In 1986 the Boy Scouts discontinued their authorization of an “Official Bugle,” although scouts still use bugles or trumpets for ceremonies, troops have troop buglers and it is possible to earn a merit badge for bugling.
Eventually all branches of the Army adopted the basic 1892 G trumpet and around 1917 it was adopted by the Navy and Marines. Regular Army, Navy or Marine Corps issue horns never say U.S. Regulation, which is a civilian designation. Genuine issue horns are usually marked U.S. or U.S.Q.M.C. or U.S.N. or U.S.M.C. or various depot contract markings. Some have no marks or just the manufacturer’s name.
During World War II, these bugles were painted in Olive Drab (O.D.) color. The Olive Drab finish was specified on B flat bugles on Nov. 11, 1932 and it is believed that same date applies to the G trumpets. World War II Olive Drab M1892 horns were made by Conn, Buglecraft, LaRosa and others.
A World War II issue bugle made by Conn and painted in Olive Drab (O.D.)
During World War I the J.W. York Co. made a variation of the 1892 horn in F with no slide, and some other makers made them in F or converted them. C.G. Conn, H.N. White/King and Wurlitzer made a variation in B flat during the 1930’s, long before the Vincent Bach Model 1955 B flat Signal Trumpet as used in state ceremonies by the U.S. Army Band.
Another variation in the key of A, made by the Kaemph Co., had a single forward circular loop in lieu of a tuning slide but otherwise resembled the standard G trumpet. Some service buglers would take a standard G trumpet and cut down the slide to make it into an A or A flat horn. This has been confirmed by at least one Army bugler who had examples of bugles he had converted. There is some small evidence, though not confirmed, that Navy buglers may also have cut down their horns to A.
During World War II, when there was a shortage of brass, a plastic bugle was put into service. This variation of the M1892 horn (stock #36-T-648 from the USQM No.6 Army Service Forces Catalog, QM Supply catalog… HQ Army Service Forces 31 Jan. 1944) was made of Tenite developed by the Kodak Corporation and manufactured by the Frank Aman Company. There were two slightly different moldings, the light Olive Drab horns being used by the Army and the darker OD horns with a slight mold difference being used by the Marine Corps during the 1950’s and earlier. This early plastic has a tendency to bleed a milky white coating which is the plasticizers coming to the surface, and over time (many years) the plastic will entirely deteriorate. These horns were issued with a plastic mouthpiece but often a metal one was substituted. There are silver-coated ones to be found also but rarely.
Tenite or plastic Field Trumpet Ad for Tenite
This Tenite (plastic) bugle was designed by Frank Aman who also manufactured the plastic “Tonette” recorder used in elementary schools. These bugles were made by the thousands and many wound up in army surplus stores in the 1950s-70s. One museum example exists of a convertible model 1892 G trumpet which could be changed into a three-valve trumpet by removing the tuning slide and inserting a complete new valve and tubing section. The Conn Company even experimented with a reversible bell in order to have an over the shoulder bugle.
In summary, the 1892 field trumpet in G was a very successful design and it is still in production today although no longer for the U.S. military. The model 1892 specifications were revised in 1918 and 1938, and other regulations were also issued pertaining to their manufacture.
The National Archives
Langwill Index of Wind Instrument Manufacturers
Streitwieser Trumpet & Horn Museum various manufacturers’ catalogs
List of Bugle Manufacturers by Dr. Ray Osheroff
Sgt. Clarence Ponder, U.S.A. Ret.
horn collection of Randy Rach and former collection of Jack Carter
many service manuals and period photographs.
About Jack Cater:
Jack Carter is a retired electrical engineer and a Marine Corps veteran with a lifelong interest in field music and military music. He plays Highland bagpipes, B flat fife, bugles, field trumpets, Civil War flugelhorns and cornets. He has been in the Civil War reenacting hobby since 1991 as a fifer and bugler. He has collected and studied bugles and trumpets since 1974, served several years on the advisory board of the Streitwieser Trumpet & Horn Museum and was a charter member of the Historic Brass Society.Â At present he is a member of the Company of Fifers & Drummers.
Felix’s Saxophone Corner Blog has a nice two-page overview of the major brands that made desirable vintage horns. Click here to jump to the first page of the article.
Saxophone.org’s Saxophone Buyer’s Guide page has some good tips, especially if you’re looking for a pro or classic horn.
Other articles you may find helpful include:
- Vintage Pro Sax Timelines
- Vintage Student Saxophones
- What is a Stencil Saxophone?
- Evaluating Used Saxophone s
- Stencil Saxophone List
- Shopping for C Melody Saxes
- Shopping for Soprano Saxophones
- Upgrading Saxophone Mouthpieces
- Saxophone Tuning and Intonation
- Saxophone Ergonomics
- Saxophone Glossary
- Saxophones in Church?
- Shopping for Saxophones
- Which Saxophone is Better?
Another resource, the Horns in My Life articles describe various saxophones (and one flute) with which I’ve made a personal connection over the last 45 years. Some folks who’ve had similar horns will find it a helpful resource. Others will just like to reminisce along with me. On the other hand, if you come across one of these horns while you’re shopping for a saxophone and want to know more about it, you may find one or more of the articles helpful.
The list is in the sequence in which I owned the following horns, not in the sequence they were built, which is way different.
All material, illustrations, and content of this web site are copyrighted © 2011-2015 by Paul D. Race. All rights reserved.
For questions, comments, suggestions, trouble reports, etc. about this web page or its content, please contact us.
A Note from Paul: Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.
Value of Sacagawea Dollars (2000-2008)
Sacagawea gold dollar coins were minted first from 2000 until 2008 and again with different reverse designs starting in 2009. These are popular coins but well over a billion have been minted since 2000. There are a couple of special varieties that are collectible like the 2000-P Cheerios coin. However, your regular strike Sacagawea coins are still just worth $1 and will likely only be worth a dollar for the foreseeable future. A moderate exception would be that some of the older rolls do sell for a very small premium over their face value. All Sacagawea coins, while gold in color, have absolutely no precious metals value. They are made of copper, manganese, brass, zinc, and nickel. Despite their limited collector value, Sacagaweas are still a fun coin with a lot of history.
Our guide at the bottom of this page lists the mintage figures and historical information about all the various Sacagawea coins from different years. Here are some quick facts that collectors might find of interest:
-The legal authorization to mint a new dollar coin was passed in 1997, but the first coins were not released until January 2000.
-The general public actually preferred a coin showing the statue of liberty, but the Sacagawea design was selected by the officials in charge of the coin. Thanks to the coin, today Sacagawea is widely recognized. She was certainly not a household name in the late 1990s before the coin was released to the public.
-No images of the actual person Sacagawea exist (she died in 1812). The woman pictured on the coin is actually a 22 year old college student named Randy’L He-dow Teton.
-Most Sacagaweas are used in the United States in vending machines or hoarded by collectors who hope the coins will someday be worth a lot of money. We don’t see the coins too much in commerce for that reason. However, the USD is an official currency in Ecuador and Sac dollars are the preferred day to day denomination in Ecuador.
Sacagawea has her infant in a papoose over her shoulder. Her son was named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. The back of the coin features a more familiar design. It has a flying eagle, 17 stars, and the traditional text of E Pluribus Unum – United States of America – One Dollar. The front of the coin says LIBERTY and In God We Trust. There will be a P, D, or S mint mark under the year. And the back of each coin also has the initials TDR for Thomas D. Rogers Sr, the mint sculptor and engraver.